Friday Apr 17, 2009

Professor David Cheriton at Open HA Cluster Summit on May 31

I'm excited that Professor David Cheriton has agreed to give the keynote address at the Open HA Cluster summit on May 31. Dr. Cheriton has an impressive resume in both academia and industry, and his lecture should be quite interesting. I can testify from personal experience that Dr. Cheriton is an entertaining speaker, as I took CS244b (Distributed Systems) from him as a grad student. This was my first exposure to distributed systems, and I've been in the field ever since.

The summit is free and open to anyone. It falls on the Sunday directly before CommunityOne and JavaOne, so if you're planning to attend those conferences, come a day early and check out this one. There will be free food, and the first 10 students to arrive at the conference, bright and early at 8:45 AM, will be able to participate in a drawing for a nano-iPod. Later at the evening reception we will be giving away a Toshiba Portege laptop. You can register on the summit wiki.

Monday Mar 30, 2009

First Open HA Cluster Summit

Please join us at the first Open HA Cluster summit on May 31, 2009! This event will come almost exactly two years after we formed the HA Clusters community and released the first Open HA Cluster source code, and one year after we released the code for the Sun Cluster Core. I'm looking forward to showing off project Colorado. Here's the official invitation from Jatin, our new community manager:

Make High Availability Work For You

You are invited to participate in the first OpenSolaris Summit for Open HA Cluster.

Open HA Cluster Summit
Sunday, May 31st, 2009
San Francisco Marriott (Next to Moscone Convention Center)
55 Fourth Street
San Francisco, CA 94103 USA

The Open HA Cluster Summit will precede the CommunityOne West and JavaOne Conferences which start on June 1. We will bring together members of the HA Clusters community, technologists, and users of High Availability and Business Continuity software. Not only will experts lead interactive sessions, panel discussions and technical tracks, but there will be ample time for you to also be an active participant.

We invite you to register yourself for this event at your earliest convenience. Email ha-cluster-summit@opensolaris.org if you have any difficulty with the registration. Attendance is free. There will be a reception and Community Marketplace, an informal venue to showcase your products and ideas, in the evening following the technical sessions.

Jatin Jhala
HA Clusters Community Manager

This event is sponsored by Sun Microsystems, Inc. Spread the word.

Tuesday Jan 20, 2009

Announcing the OpenSolaris Bible

Last year, I wrote a bible. No, I didn’t change my name to Paul or Ezekial. I mean bible in the fourth definition sense of the word. My bible, on the topic of OpenSolaris, will be released next month under the appropriate enough title, OpenSolaris Bible. It’s available now for pre-order from any of the online booksellers.

If you’re interested in OpenSolaris, whether you’re a novice or an experienced user or admin, this book should have something for you. The only prerequisite is some experience with UNIX or Linux; and at close to 1000 pages, we’re able to cover both the basics and many advanced topics. The detailed table of contents (note: PDF link) and index (also PDF link) on the book web site give an idea of the topics and scope of the book.

I’ll have more to say about the contents of the book later, but in this post I’d like to write a little about how and why I wrote it. Four years ago, my first book, Professional C++, was released. I did the project somewhat on a whim, mostly because I was offered the opportunity. I knew I didn’t want to write full-time, but couldn’t turn down the opportunity to try my hand at it. And of course there was the lure of getting the chance to influence thousands of programmers to code the "right" (i.e. "my") way. However, after spending almost one year working every night and weekend on it, I was ready to focus on other things for a while.

Given that I’m still working full-time for Sun, have added a child to my family, and my wife is just starting her own business, why did I decide to again spend almost a year writing every night and weekend? As any author this side of John Grisham can attest, it’s certainly not for the money. Nor, if I’m being realistic about the market for C++ and OpenSolaris books, is it for the fame. However, there are a few reasons other than just seeing my words in print again.

First and foremost, I strongly believe that the OpenSolaris community needs this book. At the time we started writing there were no books available or, as far as we knew, even in the works, on OpenSolaris. In fact, OpenSolaris Bible will be the first English-language book on OpenSolaris. A good tutorial and reference book on OpenSolaris is imperative in order for the technology to gain hold and grow market share in the open source community.

Of course, that doesn’t explain why I wrote the book myself, especially since I’m not a core Solaris engineer directly involved in developing the OpenSolaris distribution. To be frank, one reason is simply that I enjoy taking opportunities that come my way.

More importantly, however, I work for Sun, am involved in the OpenSolaris community, and use OpenSolaris every day. I am quite familiar with the details and intricacies of OpenSolaris and knew that I would be comfortable writing the content of the book. As with Professional C++, I wrote the book that I would want to have as my tutorial and reference. Additionally, having written Professional C++, I had the contacts at Wiley, and knew that I was capable of writing a book of this magnitude.

That said, there was no way I could have written this book by myself. I had a great experience working with Scott on Professional C++, and at first wasn’t sure I could repeat it. However, I was extremely lucky to find two amazing co-authors: Jerry and Dave. They both have a rare combination of exceptional technical knowledge and the ability to explain it clearly in writing. (If you’ve spent much time around technical folks, you’ll know that second quality is in short supply). In particular, Jerry’s understanding of Zones, virtualization, file systems, and a host of other topics, and Dave’s knowledge about the OpenSolaris distribution, IPS, Networking, and pretty much everything else were invaluable. They wrote all the hard chapters, including some material that took significant research and testing.

And in addition to their technical abilities, Dave and Jerry were both a pleasure to work with. Although I don’t think we’ve all three ever been in the same place at the same time, we didn’t just each go off into a locked room and write our chapters. We had weekly phone conversations and innumerable email exchanges about all sorts of subjects from global chapter topics and ordering to detailed questions about a particular technical issue. Additionally, we each reviewed each other’s chapters in detail several times, and all kept our eyes out for OpenSolaris changes that would impact any of our material. I believe that this diligence shows, and that the resultant tome, in my obviously biased opinion, is a well-organized, comprehensive, and cohesive tutorial and reference on OpenSolaris.

But that’s just my opinion. I’m looking forward to hearing yours!

Monday Sep 29, 2008

Solaris Cluster on OpenSolaris

The source code that went out today for the first time allows Solaris Cluster to be built for and run on the OpenSolaris binary distribution. This is a small but important step in project Colorado.

In other news about project Colorado, Thorsten wrote a great post outlining the various reasons that Solaris Cluster on OpenSolaris is not just a “compile and run” exercise. There are some significant technical issues that we must address.

Finally, I want to point out that Solaris Cluster Express 9/08 was released last week. This build of Solaris Cluster runs on Solaris Express build 97, and contains some exciting new features that have not yet been released in Solaris Cluster 3.2, such as "zone clusters."

Wednesday Aug 27, 2008

Colorado Project Web Page and Requirements

I've launched a project page on OpenSolaris.org for project Colorado. As this is quite a large project, there are several efforts occurring in parallel. One of these tasks is to write the requirements for the project. If you're interested, you can read a draft of the requirements and send any comments to ha-clusters-discuss@opensolaris.org by September 10.

Another task is basic building and bringup of Sun Cluster / Open HA Cluster on OpenSolaris. You can see some of the status on that effort on the project wiki. We are also starting to investigate what it will take to convert the existing SVR4 packages to IPS packages. There's a lot of work to do! If you're interested in getting involved with the project, please let me know.

Thursday Jun 05, 2008

Solaris Cluster Express 6/08 available

As I announced to the OpenSolaris community yesterday, we've released a new version of Solaris Cluster Express. SCX, as we call it, is a build of Solaris Cluster for Solaris Express. This release runs on SXCE build 86. If you don't want to build the cluster source code yourself, this binary distribution is a good option for trying out Solaris Cluster / Open HA Cluster on OpenSolaris.

Monday Oct 29, 2007

Solaris Cluster Express 10/07 available

Solaris Cluster Express 10/07 is now available for download.

As usual, Solaris Cluster Express is a complete version of the Solaris Cluster product that runs on the Solaris Express platform. This release of Solaris Cluster Express runs on Solaris Express Developer Edition 9/07.

Try it out -- it's free!

Thursday Sep 20, 2007

Photos from Sun Tech Days Boston

I wrote last week that I was in Boston for the kickoff event of Sun Tech Days 2007-2008.

I thought the OpenSolaris day and Installfest went well. If you're interested, you can check out the slides (PDF file) from my talk on Open High Availability Cluster.

Here are some photos

Giving my talk


Continuing my talk


Stephen Lau, multitasking Solaris installs across four laptops at the Installfest

Tuesday Sep 11, 2007

At Sun Tech Days Boston

I'm in Boston this week for the Sun Tech Days conference. Today I will be giving a presentation on Open High Availability Cluster as part of the OpenSolaris track. Here's the complete conference agenda.

Monday Jul 30, 2007

Solaris Cluster Express 7/07 available

The first release of Solaris Cluster Express is now available for download.

Solaris Cluster Express 7/07 is a complete version of Solaris Cluster that runs on Solaris Express Community Edition build 68. You can install and run Solaris Cluster Express 7/07 on SPARC based platforms and on 32-bit or 64-bit x86 based platforms.

As the tech lead on this effort, I'm particularly pleased that we were able to release it so quickly after our first Solaris Cluster source-code release last month.

My colleague, Thorsten, wrote a great summary of the reasons that this is a particularly exciting release.

You can also browse the installation instructions.

Please check it out and give us your feedback!

Monday Jul 23, 2007

My Upcoming Open HA Cluster Talks

I'll be presenting, "Discovering Open High Availability Cluster" at two different OpenSolaris User Groups in the next few weeks.

Both meetings are open to the public. If you’re in the area, please come by!

Thursday Jul 05, 2007

Globalization Source for Sun Cluster Agents

We've open-sourced some more Solaris Cluster code under the Open High Availability Cluster umbrella. The globalization (G11N) source code for the Solaris Cluster Agents is now available.

Browse the source

Download the source

Friday Jun 29, 2007

A Few More Open HA Cluster Links

Blog posts about Open HA Cluster

News stories about Open HA Cluster

Thursday Jun 28, 2007

More Open HA Cluster Links

Some more blog posts about Open HA Cluster

More news stories about Open HA Cluster

Wednesday Jun 27, 2007

Open HA Cluster Web Roundup for June 27, 2007

Recent blog posts about Open HA Cluster

Listen to Open Sourced Solaris Cluster, a podcast interview with my Director, Keith White.

News stories about Open HA Cluster

There are many other news stories, but they mostly seem to be duplicates of the above listed stories.

About

Nick Solter is a software engineer and author living in Colorado.

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